John Inverdale 'explains' Marion Bartoli Wimbledon blunder

John Inverdale said his BBC training prevented him from immediately apologising. Credit: PA

John Inverdale was suffering from hay fever on the day he made his infamous gaffe about Wimbledon champion Marion Bartoli being no "looker".

The 56-year-old, who has just signed up with Marion to commentate for ITV on the French Open, told the Radio Times he was feeling unwell and trying to fill time when he made the gaffe. He said:

The BBC received around 700 complaints after John questioned, on Radio 5 Live, whether Marion's father had told her, when she was younger, that she was never going to be a "looker...a Sharapova... you're never going to be 5ft 11in, you're never going to be somebody with long legs, so you have to compensate for that".

Read: Over 700 complaints over Inverdale comments on Marion Bartoli

Inverdale said he originally was going to use the term "physical attributes" but elected not to, and was then "horrified" by what came out of his mouth instead.

The sports broadcaster said that he "was horrified" for Marion that, "at her moment of triumph", there was "some idiot distraction".

Bartoli told the Radio Times she was not bothered by the blunder:

Read: Culture Secretary attacks BBC cover of women's sport